In my hometown of Birmingham, there are several bars and watering holes that feature craft beer prominently. In a city with an extremely large Black population, you’d think we’d a number of Black brewers, especially since we enjoy beer and we like to brew as well. Enter the Beered Black Man, Ralph Marion, a bartender and now brewer from the Magic City!
Birmingham’s Beered Black Man
Ralph Marion’s road to brewing is an interesting one considering he didn’t initially care for beer. Yes, one traumatic experience of mistaking Bud for Coke almost took the Beered Black Man out of the game.
You would be amazed at how common it is to happen upon open, random cans of beer at six. Your taste buds are still playing D-League and hasn’t been called up to the seasoning and alcohol league, so Bud is going to come off as vile. Then you get older and realize “Oh, Bud’s been trash all along but I can get three for $4. Here we go!”
Food and drink math are what should’ve been taught in school, people. In 2008, Ralph Marion would run into a local brew that would change his mind: Good People Brown Ale. There’s a bit of destiny here as the year that Good People Brewing Company sold its first keg was the same year Marion fell in love with beer.
Now, almost eleven years later, things came full circle for the Beered Black Man and Good People Brewing.
The Debut of the Fudge Brownie Stout
Family is an inspiration for almost everything here in the South and Marion’s first concoction is no different. His debut beer—the Fudge Brownie Stout—is a throwback to his great-grandmother who was master chef specializing in fudge brownies.
Being a regular in Birmingham’s bar and brewing community, the Beered Black Man hooked up with Good People Brewing’s head brewer Adam Klein to start work on the stout. It took him from December to February to finish and was ready for its Magic City debut on March 30.
Marion’s Fudge Brownie Stout is a limited-edition stout that used real cocoa and chocolate malt for a chocolatey taste. During the brewing process, lactose was added for creaminess. The end product is a milk stout that isn’t too sweet and clocks in at 8.5-percent ABV. In talking with Al.com, Klein and Marion said that the Fudge Brownie Stout would go well with burgers, steaks, desserts, and “strongly-flavored” cheeses. Basically, it shines with anything leaning towards savory.
Spreading the Love of Craft Beer
In sharing his love for beer and brewing itself, Ralph Marion hopes to honor his great-grandmother and make the craft beer community more inclusive. If you’re in the Birmingham area, you can find the Fudge Brownie Stout at Good People Brewing and Jack Brown’s Burger and Beer Joint at the moment. There are plans to expand its availability in the future.
You can follow the Beered Black Man’s musings on beer via his blog and via Instagram, which gives a great insight into Birmingham’s bar scene and craft beer community.